World & Community

Rights watchdog orders Zim to address statelessness

 By Agencies

HUMAN rights watchdog Amnesty International Zimbabwe has called on the government to amend the Citizenship Act and the Births and Deaths Registration Act to recognise dual citizenship to address challenges associated with statelessness.

Amnesty International Zimbabwe executive director Lucia Masuka made the call when she  appeared before the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Home Affairs, Defence, Security and War Veterans on Monday this week.

Masuka said the amendment would ensure that all individuals, including migrant workers, have access to citizenship and nationality.

“Government in consultation with stakeholders should amend the Citizenship Act and the Births and Deaths Registration Act to, among other issues, recognise dual citizenship and allow late registration of births and the right to a Zimbabwean nationality for migrants from Sadc States born in Zimbabwe if one of the parents is a Zimbabwean or a citizen of a Sadc State in line with the 2013 Constitution and relevant international norms,” she said.

Masuka said all descendants of migrant workers from Malawi, Zimbabwe and Mozambique should be granted citizenship in line with the 2013 Constitution, which allows for dual citizenship.

“The government should also initiate legislation for the establishment of the Citizenship and Immigration Board, which shall have oversight over conferment of nationality and simplify and decentralise citizenship determination processes in line with section 41 of the 2013 Constitution and principles of devolution,” she said.

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